Sunday, January 22, 2012

Real Citrine vs. Heat-Treated Amethyst

Real Citrine
Citrine is a naturally yellow variety of quartz crystal and has a mohs hardness of 7. Also called lemon quartz, it is known in the metaphysical realm for its ability to promote prosperity and abundance. Energetically, it helps dissipate negativity and promotes optimism. Citrine aids in manifestation by inspiring confidence and motivation and aligning the user with his/her true will. Citrine is linked with the sun and acts on the solar plexus chakra.

Real Citrine Pendant with Phantoms
Citrine's yellow color is created by aluminum and lithium trapped inside the crystal structure that have been exposed to naturally occurring radiation. It is created in almost identical circumstances as smoky quartz with the same elements present. It is only the ratio of lithium to aluminum trapped in the crystal lattice which determines whether the crystal turns smoky or citrine when exposed to gamma rays. This is why there are smoky citrines - that Li:Al ratio often falls somewhere between what would create a citrine and smoky quartz.  

Black Phantom Quartz or Tibetan Black Quartz

On an interesting side-note, contrary to popular belief, the smoky color in quartz is not caused by carbon inclusions.  Carbon inclusion in quartz are opaque, NOT smoky.  Carbon does not make quartz smoky, but instead it creates opaque black spots or opaque phantoms, like in the photo of the Tibetan Black Quartz above.  (This stone is also called black phantom quartz.)  The color created by carbon is usually not even, but instead looks like black painted lines or spots of black coal. 

Smoky Citrine Crystal
Smoky Citrine Specimen from DoodlepunkArt
Now, let's get back on topic and discuss heat-treated amethyst.  Amethyst, in contrast to citrine, is colored by iron built into the quartz crystal lattice that has been exposed to gamma rays, not aluminum and lithium. Iron build into the quartz lattice ranges from yellow, to orange, red or brown.  When these crystals are exposed to gamma rays, they turn purple.  If amethyst is then heated to about 800 - 900 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns colors that vary from bright goldenrod, to amber, orange or brown and is sold as "citrine." True, unheated citrine is almost always not tinted to the orange side of yellow.  (One exception is some African citrine which has a bit more of an orangish-yellow-brown tint.)  Citrine's color usually ranges from smoky yellow, to olive tinted yellow to a lemon yellow that closer to the green spectrum of yellow than to the orange side.  See how the citrine in the photo above is a bit greenish?  Now look at the color  of the heated amethyst below.


Fake Citrine from http://www.the-vug.com/vug/vugfakes.html Notice how the color is an orangish yellow.  Also, see the diamond shape? This crystal was broken from a cluster of amethyst crystals on a matrix, like the clusters shown down further in this document.  Heat treatment changed the color to a bright orangish-yellow.

Smoky Citrine Specimen from DoodlepunkArt
Smoky Citrine from Doodlepunk Art.  Notice how the color is more of a greenish-yellow.  Fake citrine will never range on the greenish side and real citrine will never be a bright golden yellow.

Since amethyst is found in abundance, most "citrine" sold on the market is actually heat-treated amethyst. Unfortunately, with all the heat-treated amethyst flooding the market, it can be challenging to find real citrines.  If you are looking at citrine for its metaphysical properties, be certain it is not heat-treated amethyst because it will not have the same healing properties as real citrine. Heated-amethyst "citrine" properties are almost identical to untreated amethyst. 

Smoky Citrine Crystal Pendant
Smoky Citrine Pendant from DoodlepunkArt - SOLD

Also, something else to consider when choosing between heat-treated amethyst and true citrine, is amethyst is very sensitive to light, so it will fade when exposed to high light until eventually the color will be gone completely if it is not carefully stored in the dark when not in use and carefully protected from direct sunlight.  Real citrine is less photoensitive so the color will last longer than amethyst, although I do recommend storing it in the dark as well when not in use, because it will fade as well, just not as quickly.  High temperatures will also fade citrine, so do not leave it in your car in the sun or steam clean it.

A smoky citrine available in my etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DoodlepunkArt
A Genuine Smoky Citrine From DoodlepunkArt - Notice the parallel sides and darkness at base.
At least 99% of the "citrine" on the market is heat-treated amethyst, which again is colored by the presence of iron, not aluminum and lithium, like true citrine.  True natural citrine is extremely rare.  I have seen sellers of Madeira citrine (a higher heat product) say on their websites that the heat-treated imitation is more expensive than natural citrine, but that is not even remotely true. It is simply a ploy to get you to spend more money for a cheaper knockoff.  Why would something that is incredibly rare be less expensive than something that is abundant and not natural?

Real Smoky Citrine - Nearly parallel sides, the color is soft and earthy
It is legal (and standard) in the United States to sell heat-treated amethyst as "citrine", but sellers are supposed to disclose whether a stone is treated by calling it "enhanced."  Unfortunately most people selling heat-treated amethyst call it "natural citrine" and do not even know that it is NOT the real thing, so they do not inform the buyer, and will often actually tell their customers that it is real or untreated.  I don't believe that ignorance is a valid excuse.  It is the responsibility of a good vender to educate themselves about what they are selling in order to ensure that they are selling you what they claim, but many just don't take the time.  Also, there is a lot of misinformation out there, so figuring out the truth is not an easy task if you aren't an exceptionally meticulous and persistent researcher.  Still, your best bet for finding natural citrine is to learn for yourself how to distinguish it from heat-treated amethyst, so I'm going to teach you what you should look for so that you can be a smarter shopper:

Tibetan Smoky Quartz from http://www.doodlepunkart.etsy.com
Tibetan Smoky Citrine available at http://www.doodlepunkart.etsy.com  Notice how the sides (M-faces) are close to parallel to each other. 

Before we go any further, I would like to ask you to reread the next sections of this blog, and check out the captions on the photos prior to asking me questions.  I am getting many questions that are already answered here.  My goal is for YOU to be able to recognize real citrine and heat-treated amethyst when you see it.  


Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst Cluster) - White at base and bright amber color.


Untreated Amethyst Cluster - Notice how it's much darker at the tips.
First, let's talk about shape.  Amethyst most commonly grows in a druzy/cluster formation on a matrix of rock, and individual crystals are broken off from these larger clusters.  Notice the matrix rock that the amethyst crystals grow from in the two photos above and the two below.  "Matrix" in geology refers to the solid matter (usually a rock) in which a fossil or crystal is embedded.  Most of the amethysts and heated "citrines" on the market grew on a matrix in a way very similar to these photos.  When broken from these druzies/geodes, the crystals have a "dogtooth" or diamond shapes which I will explain shortly. 

Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst Cluster) - See the orange color, dark tips and diamond shape?

Untreated Amethyst Cluster - White base, dark at tips, diamond shaped crystals grouped on a matrix.
Citrine, by contrast, rarely (and perhaps never) grows in a druzy/geode clusters. (There are cluster formations, but they are shaped differently from amethyst clusters.  I have seen a lot of split growth clusters in citrine.  These are usually kept intact. )  

Genuine Citrine showing Split Growth Formation - this is an example of a citrine "cluster".  Notice how different it is from an amethyst druzy/geode cluster.


Now let's talk about the shape of the individual crystals.  The shape of a genuine, natural citrine crystal usually resembles a clear quartz crystal or a smoky quartz crystal - typically with long parallel sides or sides with a gradual taper as in a laser wand.   The sides of a crystal that lead from the base to the termination are called the m-faces.  Citrine, smoky quartz and clear quartz almost always have m-faces.  You can see this shape in the photo below and in all of the natural citrine photos in this article.   (Be sure to read the captions.)  In the cluster shown above, the smaller citrine crystals are sprouting from the m-faces of the crystal - a very interesting formation.

This is a genuine citrine.  The long sides that are almost parallel to each other, but taper gradually toward the termination are called m-faces.  Citrines almost always have m-faces, though growth conditions and mineral inclusions can distort the shape of them. 

By contrast, individual amethyst crystals most often have a very distinct diamond-like shape.  There are no parallel sides leading to or tapering towards a termination.  Another way to say this is that they often do not have m-faces at all.  Instead, the termination faces meet "sides" which dramatically taper towards where it attached to the matrix.  These "sides" taper in the opposite way, so they are thicker toward the point and narrow towards the matrix.  These are not actually m-faces or sides.  They are actually another termination that is embedded into matrix rock.  For more images try searching "raw amethyst crystal" on google images to familiarize yourself with the typical amethyst shape.  If a "citrine" resembles most amethysts in shape, then it is heat-treated amethyst, not natural citrine.

Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - The diamond-shape, the dark tip with white base and the orangish-amber color are all dead giveaways.

Amethyst - See the diamond or dogtooth shape (indicating it was broken from a druzy cluster on a matrix) and the dark tip with the light base?

Next let's talk about color distribution.  Heat treated amethyst is usually darker at the tip and lighter at the base where it grew from it's matrix.  Notice how all of these amethysts and heat-treated amethysts in the photos above and below are darker at the termination and the color fades into white or almost white as it approaches the base where it attached to the matrix.    The color of true citrine is more even, or it has darker phantoms or patches inside. If it is lighter at the tip than at the base, then it is not heat-treated amethyst. 

Amethyst - Three more broken from a larger matrix.  There is less of the material closer to the matrix than in most of the other examples, but you can still see that there are no long parallel or gently tapering sides that resemble a clear quartz. Most amethyst crystals will be shaped like this.

Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - See how there are no parallel sides leading to the termination? And again, an amber tip with a white base.
Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst) - More amethysts broken from a cluster, all with orange-ish/amber color indicative of heat-treatment.  There are no parallel sides leading to terminations and the light areas are quite opaque white.
Amethyst - Same diamond shape crystals with white bases, broken from a cluster.
Another difference between the two is the color shade: natural citrine's color is usually pale yellow, lemon yellow, smoky yellow or greenish yellow. It's yellow color falls between the middle of the yellow spectrum to slightly on the green side of yellow and is often smoky.  If the color is bright, it is like an almost ripe lemon and is never golden.  Heat-treated amethyst has more of an orange-ish or amber tone - ranging on the opposite side of the yellow spectrum.  What that means is that if yellow is in the center, green (and citrine) is on the left of that and orange (and heat-treated amethyst) is on the right.  Heat-treated amethyst can fall anywhere on the right, from a bright goldenrod yellow (which is still yellow, but has a faint tint of orange) to orange, amber, sienna or brown.

There is something I have seen being sold for a very high price called "Ox Blood" or "Madeira" citrine. It is a darker, intensely saturated orangy-yellow color. This is higher temperature heat-treated amethyst.  Rarely is natural citrine ever orange, and on the extremely rare occasion that it is, there are other minerals involved that cause the orange color, and the results look quite different from the any of the images of fake citrine that I have posted. 

Real Smoky Citrine Sold by DoodlepunkArt
There are many websites and books touting that iron is what colors both natural citrine and amethyst.  The truth of this statement depends on whether you think citrine refers to a color or to a stone.   There are other yellow quartzes, including golden healer/ferruginous quartz and tangerine/iron-stained quartz.  For this reason, and also due to the difference in metaphysical properties between "iron citrine" and "natural citrine," I think "citrine" needs to refer to a specific stone, not just a yellow color.  I prefer to use three different names to describe "citrines":

  • Natural Iron Citrine - Yellow crystals colored by (irradiated) iron built into the crystal lattice which were exposed to heat from a natural source at some point during its formation.  These would have been amethysts if they had not been exposed to natural heat.  This is a very rare occurrence.  Healing properties are similar to amethyst or heat-treated amethyst.
  • Heat-treated Amethyst - Amethyst crystals (colored by irradiated iron built into the crystal lattice) that turned yellow after being exposed to man-made heat.  This is a very common stone with healing properties are similar to amethyst.
  • Aluminum Citrine, or simply Citrine.  Contains no iron and doesn't require heating for its yellow color.  Healing properties are very different from those of amethyst.  It is a true manifestation stone which activates the solar plexus chakra.  This is a very rare stone. 

Natural citrine and smoky quartz are colored with aluminum and lithium, which are naturally irradiated.  This is why citrine and smoky quartz have been found at the same mine.  Amethyst and aluminum citrine aren't usually found together in the same location.  Ametrine on the other hand may or may not be natural.  I'm not sure.  I have seen no significant evidence proving that it exists naturally.  I've read that it is simply amethyst that was heated until it turns yellow, areas were masked with a substance such as lead, then it was exposed to radiation, which turned the unmasked areas back to its original purple color.  However, I have seen no significant evidence suggesting that all ametrine is manipulated my man either.  I suspect that if it does actually exist naturally, it is extremely rare, and that most of what is out there is either man-made through a heat/re-irradiation process of amethyst, or is simply iron-stained amethyst (amethyst with an orange coating of iron oxide dust on the outside.)

Genuine Pale, Medium and Smoky Citrines From My Collection
Tumbled Fake Citrine (Heat-Treated Amethyst)
Besides the differing metaphysical properties, here is another downside to heat-treated amethyst: stone strength.  The heat treatment weakens the stone, causing minute little fractures. Do not be duped. If you think it is pretty and you choose to buy it, do not spend a high price for this material. Amethyst, especially in broken pieces, is very common and inexpensive and anyone with a kiln can bake it to create "citrine." IMHO it is unethical to sell this stuff as "citrine" (even though it is legal), even worse to call it "natural citrine" and worse yet to ask for a high price; and telling people that the treated stuff is more valuable is a downright lie.  If someone wants to sell the stuff, I think they should call it what it is:  Treated Citrine or Heat-Treated Amethyst

Citrine Sphere Pendant Necklace Sold at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DoodlepunkArt
Citrine Sphere Pendant SOLD at DoodlepunkArt
One of my favorite quartz websites has a page on citrine that explains the science behind its formation in greater detail:  http://www.quartzpage.de/citrine.html

Large Smoky Morion Citrine Pendant available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/110281904/quartz-crystal-pendant-smoky-citrine
Smoky Morion Citrine With Phantoms Pendant SOLD at DoodlepunkArt
I am always adding raw citrine specimens to my etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DoodlepunkArt .  If you don't see one and would like to get one, just convo me and I'll hook you up.  I also sell smoky citrine and morion citrines like the pendant above and the specimen below.  I make citrine sphere pendants like the one two photos up and raw citrine pendants like the ones you have seen in this listing.  They usually go really fast, so if you want to order one and don't see any in my shop, just send me a convo and I will make one for you or give you a sneak peak of what's in the works and let you pick one.  My turnaround is much quicker in the summer than in the winter, as the cold weather is not conducive to my process. 
Specimen available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/124768436/black-morion-smoky-quartz-crystal-with
Smoky Morion Citrine Key Crystal with Phantoms

These etsy items from other sellers are genuine citrine as well:
(Please note - there is an updated list of other vendors' items after the addendum at the end of this article.)



Notice how the color differs from the other citrine out there. (There was a lot of faceted "citrine" and I did not have time to study each one.)

Now, take note of the color of the real citrine sold by this website: http://mineralminers.com/html/citmins.stm Although the most of the stones are chunks or cut, the color is what you should be looking for, and they do have a couple of raw whole crystals in there.

This website has a lovely sample of real citrine at the top and explains how they make "citrine" and "ametrine" from amethyst: http://www.galleries.com/minerals/gemstone/citrine/birthnov.htm


And one more real citrine specimen is on this page: http://www.deepdiscountgems.com/featured-gemstones/citrine-gemstones/natural-citrine-4/ It also has links to citrine jewelry, but I have not checked any of them out.

This site will educate you about the most common fakes in the mineral/crystal/gemstone world. I posted one of their photos of face citrine at the top.  Scroll down to Citrine: http://www.the-vug.com/vug/vugfakes.html

Now, here are links to images of heat treated amethyst that came up when I searched google for "genuine citrine", and unfortunately they are all FAKE:









I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. However, please don't send me any more long lists of other people items asking me to identify whether they are real or not.  I am sorry, but I have been getting too many requests and it is taking too much time from my own shop. I do sell genuine citrine at great prices and have posted links to other people who also sell it.  Some of the items people have been asking me about are very obviously heat-treated amethyst, almost identical in appearance to the many examples that I show in this article.  I feel that some folks would rather ask me instead of learning how to figure it out themselves, which isn't what I am going for here.  My goal in writing this article is not for me to answer lots of questions about other vendors' items; it is to help people be informed shoppers and be able to recognize heated amethyst when they see it.  If after reading the sections about the differences between citrine and amethyst a couple of times, you still can't tell if something is real (because it falls outside of the norm), then post a link and I'll tell you what I think.  Sometimes things are not so easy to tell what they are, but I do explain how to identify most citrine and amethyst using very common features, which will apply to the majority of examples out there.   
Raw citrine pendant sold in my store.  Notice the phantoms that show different stages of the crystal's growth.  This is a very large and rare specimen mined in China. 

 ©Jennifer Shipley
The content of this article is the intellectual property of Jennifer Shipley.  Please do not copy without my written consent.

Addendum:

11/4/13

I went to a gem and jewelry show this weekend.  There was a vender selling gorgeous rough gemstones for faceting at wholesale prices.  They were charging by the gram for the raw material.  They called the citrine that was the color of the stuff I've got "Lemon Citrine" and were selling it at $4/gram.  They were selling a very intense and saturated amber/yellow citrine at $6/gram. Some of these pieces were whole crystals and they were definitely NOT amethysts.  I don't remember where they came from.  The crystals were long and straight like clear quartz, not the dog-tooth shape of amethyst, and there was absolutely no fracturing that occurs with the heat process, so I am 100% certain they were the not heated, though I have never seen it that color in person before.  The Quartz Page has some examples that approach orange in color, one from Brazil and the others from Kazakhstan and Madagascar, however the color was even more bright.  It was quite amazing and definitely not the typical citrine color.  The saturation in color in these specimens was perfectly even and practically free of inclusions.  I am sure this is why the price was so high.  This is the first time I have ever seen the real thing so perfect in the rough form.  AMAZING STUFF for faceting. 


On another note, last night I was perusing through etsy's "unheated citrine" items and stumbled upon a woman calling herself a sage who is selling the prime example of heat-treated amethyst.  She states that it is untreated, but it is obviously heat-treated amethyst.  It couldn't be more obvious.  The shape is dog-toothed, the color is burnt orange, there is tons of white, the tips were dark and the base was opaque white and there was the telltale crackled appearance of a low budget and haphazardly performed heat-treatment.  I assumed she did not know the difference, so I sent her this message:


"Hi. I stumbled across your stones. I'm really sorry to inform you of this, but it is heat-treated amethyst, not untreated citrine. I just thought you should know. Good luck.

jen"

She wrote this back to me:

"Jen, thanks! I actually teach a course on stones and discuss the differences between HT amethyst and citrine. Some may not know, however, so it's good that you're aware and spreading the info. All of my tumbled and my raw pieces that are not points are untreated. I buy directly from the mines in Brazil.

Blessings, A_____"

I'm really confused because there was only one photo for the listing and the stones were all heated amethyst points.  I got a sick feeling in my gut when I read her message.  I'm not sure if she is a liar or just uninformed.  I can't understand why her photo is of heated amethyst, but what she claims to be selling is real, unheated citrine.   I think people should be educated about what they are selling, and be certain that the claims they make are accurate.  I find it disturbing that she is soooo clearly wrong and is "educating" people.  I feel a little, I don't know, dismayed and...um...well irritated.  I really don't like it when people self-proclaim their guru-ness, then dole out bullshit like it should be faceted and set in jewelry.  

So, I have not responded to her message at this point.  What can I say???  I suppose it was foolish for me to offer unsolicited information to a stranger in the first place; and it is probably pointless to engage her any further, because she doesn't know me from Adam and apparently thinks that she knows what she is talking about.   A lot of sellors will tell you whatever will make you buy their stuff, then others are simply misguided, but unopen to hearing what they know you won't like.  I've got a bit of a protective watchdog personality, so I had a very difficult time letting this go.

Please BE VERY LEERY, folks.  Check out The Quartz Page if you want to read more a more technical and science-y explanation of citrine.  This guy really knows his stuff. 

In an effort to support and reward those honest and knowledgeable etsy sellers that are selling the real deal, I have compiled a new list of citrine items so that you have not only my store to shop in, but also some others.  If you sell genuine citrine and would like me to consider listing you here as a safe seller, please convo me on etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/115131177/citrine-tumbled-citrine-golden-citrine  These are the only real citrine tumbled stones I seen and the price is unbeatable...lower than what many folks are selling heated amethyst for. 

Raw Crystals:


PureSpiritCrystals currently has 5 raw whole citrine crystals for sale at very competitive prices:

This shop also has broken pieces at a very, very low price.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/150648958/natural-citrine-quartz-rough-raw-large

These links go to lovely, real, untreated faceted citrine crystals:
These are Citrine Pendants:


56 comments:

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for your post. It is very helpful for someone whose crystal shopping like me.

    According to your post (the picture), then this could be fake citrine:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/171069983679?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/221277900979?var=520169710334&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/190897077624?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

    I already bought this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/141030799660?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    and this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/120719982856?var=420031272978&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    What is your opinion about those 'citrine' on those links?

    I live outside US, and I usually shop on ebay (not very familiar with etsy), and please pardon my English.

    Thank you in advance. Elvie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Elvie. Thank you for your comment. Your English is great. I looked at your links. Unfortunately, none of them are natural (aluminum) citrine, though the first strand of beads is quite lovely. All of these links are showing heat-treated amethyst/iron citrine, not natural (aluminum) citrine. You can tell by the amber color. Also, the tumbled stones have a lot of white. Aluminum citrine doesn't have much white at all - the lighter areas in the real thing are mostly clear, not an opaque white.

    These crystals will not have the same metaphysical properties as aluminum citrine, and are not self-cleaning, so you will need to cleanse and charge them regularly if you are intending on using them for metaphysical purposes. I do recommend getting real citrine if you are needing a stone for manifestation and activating the solar plexus chakra. I'm sorry I couldn't give you better news. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions or if I can do anything else for you. :)

    Thanks,
    x0jen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,
    I'm just wondering if it's real citrine.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/380749960232?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    It's not cheep. It does have some white on it. It doesn't look orange though. I wonder if they have come up with a new method to counterfeit the real stone. A lot of Chinese sellers have citrine on ebay which looks OK but I doubt it's real considering everything is made and faked in China. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Yes. This is a nice smoky citrine. Sorry that it has already sold.

      FYI: China is not a big supplier of heat-treated amethyst. The majority of HTA comes from Brazil. China however has a few places that produce real citrine. Sichuan is one of them.

      I feel I have to correct you on something. The majority of crystals coming from China are actually genuine, though there are some fakes and mislabeled items. Central Asia is actually rich beyond measure in rocks, minerals and artifacts. This includes China.

      There are fakes and mislabeled minerals coming from everywhere (US included,) not just China. There is actually a lot of misinformation propagated by unscrupulous vendors in the US and Europe, designed to sell their products for a higher price. Slap a fancy trade name on something common, like Auralite 23 or Master Shamanite and people get to sell it for 5 times as much. I find this dishonest. I think things should sell for their actual retail value. I don’t think there is a problem giving something unique and uncommon a name that describes it accurately as long as you don’t then mark it up astronomically higher than its relative rarity in the market can account for. Giving something a descriptive name actually helps shoppers find it more easily. Also, if those who have it use the same name, then it gives power to the buyer, allowing them to comparison shop. I’m all for the smart shopper. But when you name something common a name that doesn’t describe it and instead implies an inflated value because of some supernatural power or some mineral inclusions that are probably not actually present, and you call it “rare”, then that is wrong and it isn’t the Chinese who are the perpetrators of these dishonest acts. Buyer beware doesn’t only apply to China. This is why I feel it is empowering for buyers to educate themselves.

      If you want to see some interesting mineral specimens from China, here’s the blog of a Chinese mineral collector/dealer names Chen Xioa Jun, who travels around the country visiting mines and markets. He takes photos of his journeys and posts them in blog form on his site in the "Latest News" section. http://www.chenxiaojun.com/news/list_5_1.html So far there are 9 pages (90 entries.) This is a great place to start learning about what China has to offer the mineral world. He does have some actual mine photos if you read through the stuff. Have fun.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for your reply. I'm still confused about citrine. My daughter wants it for its metaphysical properties. Some sources indicate that natural Citrine is not common, and what's sold is either heated amethyst or quartz. I think it's not too hard to spot the heated amethyst. What about quartz? Internet photos confuse me even more. I have even found a shiny looking Citrine on eBay for over $200. As for the Citrine from Chinese sellers, they look beautiful - I didn't know they mined them there. That's why I was sceptical since most sources mention Russia and Brazil. My intention is to get my daughter the real thing. Thank you for your help. Any more advice is always appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  5. No problem. You are not the only confused person. :) I am sure there are many other people with the same questions. Citrine and heated amethyst have different healing properties, and most of the time when books and web pages list those properties they do not specify which stone they are talking about. They feel completely different. Heated amethyst feels more like amethyst with sort of a fire energy overtone. Citrine doesn't feel fiery at all, but more air to earthy air, depending on how smoky it is. This is just a little window into their differences.

    Brazil is a major source of amethyst, which is why it is also the major supplier of heated-amethyst. I have seen some "iron-citrine" from Brazil that was actually heated by nature to be citrine. It's rare and pretty cool, but its properties are closer to heated-amethyst, because that is what it is. As for genuine aluminum citrine, some does come from Brazil too. The Russian stuff is beautiful. I think it's mostly from the Ural Mountains which is mined out, so only old stock is available. There are a couple of places in Africa (Congo and Namibia.) You can also find some from Madagascar, US, Kazakhstan and very rarely from the Alps. BUT China is the biggest source of the real stuff that I know of right now. They are mining it NOW. I am stating this purely from my own experience and research. I've found more from China than the rest of the world combined...and the color of the Chinese ones is EXCELLENT!!! There are many crystals that are almost green...very very neat stuff. And the prices are much lower too, because it is available now. I imagine when it's all mined out, the price will match citrine from the rest of the world

    I'm not sure what you are asking about quartz. Perhaps you are confused by some folks that use the word in the listing and others that don't. Citrine and Amethyst are varieties of quartz, as is smoky quartz, tiger's eye, prase, aventurine, agate....so that is why you see it in some listings. I hope that is what you were wondering. Or were you asking about lab created quartz or smelted quartz. If so, let me know and I'll address that.

    As for the $200 price tag, I'd have to see the crystal to know for sure, but I have seen a lot of price variation. If it was faceted, that could be one reason why. Faceting is an art in itself so those stones do cost more. If it is a polished crystal with a perfect man-created termination, it shouldn't cost much more than most raw crystals, and many raw crystals are worth much more than a polished one if they are in good condition. Rough (broken pieces) or tumbled nuggets should be the cheapest. A $200 would have to be either faceted, very large or pretty spectacular in shape or clarity in its raw form (not polished) to be worth that.

    For healing purposes, a raw crystal with the original termination intact is the best (not a polished termination.) You should be able to get something nice for her from China for under $25. And if you want to spend more, expect the stone to be really nice or large or with excellent intense color.

    I do have more citrine. Whenever I put it up in my shop it sells so quickly. Sorry. If you want me to put up a custom listing for you that nobody else can buy, I can do that through my etsy shop. Sometimes I can give folks a better deal that way, if there is less work involved on my end. Basically the less work I have to do, the better the price, so to help save time, you could tell me a price range and any particular qualities (shape, size, phantoms, color....) that you are hoping to find, then I can pick your stone. You would have to make a log in and send me an etsy convo, and I could take it from there. (I accept paypal and credit cards.) Otherwise, I'm always adding more citrine to my shop and have even got some really enormous crystals coming up, but they do go really fast.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh also, a "mined out" location can also raise the price. Also, just knowing the exact mine location raises the price, because most serious collectors do not buy pieces that do not have an exact mining location, and many of them believe a stone is worthless without that. Most of the crystals that come from China do not have an exact mining location, which significantly lowers their prices. But most rock shops that I have been to are filled with stuff that has no location attached to it.

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  7. Hi Jennifer,

    First of all, thank you very much for clearing the issue - I nearly bought burned amethyst a few days ago. Since I read your article I have my eyes wide open ;)

    You have mentioned China - I have found this page here: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/608171701/Raw_small_citrine_crystal_stone_Rough.html
    It looks like this citrine is a natural one - it has the shape, the greenish colour and transparency; or am I wrong?

    Regards, Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diana, It's hard to say with any certainty because this is not a typical shape for citrine or amethyst. This doesn't mean it isn't. BUT there are a lot of amethyst crystals coming from China and Brazil right now that are atypical. They are not the dog-toothed shape of the typical amethyst from a druzy. These are multiple terminated elestials. Here are some examples:

      From China -
      https://www.etsy.com/transaction/150148639

      Brazil -
      https://www.etsy.com/transaction/102988601

      https://www.etsy.com/transaction/135657050

      https://www.etsy.com/transaction/76849875

      Notice that these do not have a pale point where they were attached to a matrix, nor are they the dog-toothed shape.

      BUT it looks like there are areas in your crystal that look smoky. Smoky colors are lightened or completely removed by the process of heating, so there is a chance that this one is real, but I can't say for sure with any certainty.

      Something that worries me is the amount of crackling in this crystal. This is something that happens when quartz is heated to a high temperature. As for the price, I cannot see it, but a high price doesn't necessarily mean it is real. Some folks inflate their prices just because they see other prices out there that are high. Also, some amethyst will turn greenish when heated to somewhere around 950 degrees f. This is called prasiolite or green amethyst. I've read they also irradiate it, so this could cause smoky color to reappear.

      If you are after metaphysical properties, and since the price is not cheap, I would chose a different stone. There are lots out there. I've found a bunch on Ebay from China under the name, "lemon quartz", "yellow quartz" and "citron quartz." Good luck.

      Delete
  8. Great article, thank you. I was wondering if you might clarify if the following are fake or real citrine, as I'm looking for the stone for its metaphysical properties as well :)

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/129155216/handmade-14kt-gold-fill-wire-wrapped?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/165846287/raw-citrine-necklace-natural-citrine?ref=sr_gallery_24&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/160635211/natural-citrine-crystal-and-smokey?ref=sr_gallery_41&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/168558349/xl-natural-smoky-citrine-phantom-crystal?ref=sr_gallery_4&sref=sr_f3fdab3408987c2aaedd33cc20b8a0c57e017baa9f6f12208a4e2fc3b11f4d89_1384975699_14724377_natural&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=handmade

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/167528328/natural-citrine-druzy-crystal-pendant?ref=sr_gallery_27&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/168982867/large-huge-statement-pendant-natural?ref=sr_gallery_25&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/29525034/wire-wrapped-pendant-in-14kt-gold-filled?ref=sr_gallery_33&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=10&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/128184305/natural-gemstone-citrine-pendant-with?ref=sr_gallery_23&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=18&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/128184305/natural-gemstone-citrine-pendant-with?ref=sr_gallery_23&ga_search_query=natural+citrine&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=18&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrynatural+citrine

    -https://www.etsy.com/listing/100387530/citrine-citrine-gemstone-vintage-and?ref=sr_gallery_13&ga_search_query=real+citrine+pendant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelryreal+citrine+pendant

    Sorry I know it's a lot of photos, but I'm finding it hard on etsy to differentiate between some of them!

    Thank you so much

    -Heather Marie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heather. Thank you for reading my article. :) I've had a chance to review your links and here are my conclusions:

      #1 Yes. It is real, natural (unheated citrine.) Notice the long m-faces or sides that lead to the termination.

      #2 Item doesn't exist anymore. It may have expired, so perhaps it will get renewed and reappear.

      #3 Yes. It's the real deal and absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!. This is an excellent stone and it's color is surprisingly honey/amber, which is not the typical lemon color of the stuff from China. Looks like Africa, perhaps. Or maybe Brazil.

      #4 Yes. Nice smoky citrine. "Smoky Citrine" is a good search term to type in to etsy for the real thing.

      #5 No. Dogtooth shape with no m-faces, whiter base (and other areas), lots of cracks caused by heating and even a little bit of amethyst left on one side.

      #6 No. Dog-toothed shape, whiter base and areas and lots of crackling from heat.

      #7 No. White areas and lots of crackles from heating.

      #8 No. Dogtoothed with pale base and lots of crackles from heating.

      #9 Same item as #8.

      #10 No. Dogtooth, crackles, white and weird color.

      Great job on finding the 3 that are real citrine! x0jen

      Delete
  9. Would you happen to know if this citrine is real or fake by chance?

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/107053068/citrine-necklace-november-birthstone?ref=sr_gallery_34&ga_search_query=citrine&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade%2Fjewelrycitrine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Heather. I'm sorry. It is not. Notice how the "citrines" are the same shape as the amethyst? This shape is called dogtoothed. It means that there are no sides (aka. m-faces) and is composed of a termination connected directly to the base (which is actually another termination that's grow was inhibited by other amethysts growing on the same matrix (druzy) and whose tip was buried inside the matrix, so it was broken off. The color is really brownish. There are a lot of crackles made from heating the crystal so hot that it fractured throughout. The base is an opaque white. This is definitely heat-treated amethyst.

      Delete
  10. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your article. I have been doing some research myself on crystals for the past few months and I am looking to buy a few things:
    1) pure natural rose quartz balls
    2) raw natural Amethyst (purple)
    3)raw natural Citrine

    I am forwarding you a few links. Please let me know if these are fake or real. Let me know if links A, B and H are not clear (pictures taken on my phone). I could perhaps send them to you via email?

    Amethyst (purple):

    a) https://dub115.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=164eb2ce-6290-11e3-ae69-00215ad71362&Aux=4|0|8D0C4B3FEA53570||0|0|0|0||&cid=e5930f5ed14947bb&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att&blob=MHxJTUctMjAxMzEyMTEtV0EwMDAwLmpwZ3xpbWFnZS9qcGVn

    b) https://dub115.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=2a8ad96b-6290-11e3-8f6b-002264c2c1bc&Aux=4|0|8D0C4B410F096C0||0|0|0|0||&cid=e5930f5ed14947bb&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att&blob=MHxJTUctMjAxMzEyMTEtV0EwMDAyLmpwZ3xpbWFnZS9qcGVn

    c) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170782743/amethyst-cluster-crystal-bed?ref=favs_view_1

    d) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170446856/raw-amethyst-crystal-cluster?ref=favs_view_3

    e) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/152242012/amethyst-cluster-gemstone-crystal-75mm-x?ref=favs_view_12

    f) any of these ? http://www.crystalage.com/online_store/amethyst-clusters-1128.cfm?displaySortType=price_low




    Rose quartz :

    g) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/171025597/rose-quartz-stone-sphere-rose-quartz?ref=favs_view_5

    h) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/151605238/rose-quartz-ball-carved-stone-sphere?ref=favs_view_14

    i) http://www.crystalage.com/online_store/rose_quartz_medium_crystal_sphere_648960.cfm


    Real Citrine :

    j) https://dub115.mail.live.com/att/GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=21d1667d-6290-11e3-88b6-00215ad99f00&Aux=814|0|8D0C4B408FD8630||0|0|0|0||&cid=e5930f5ed14947bb&maxwidth=220&maxheight=160&size=Att&blob=MHxJTUctMjAxMzEyMTEtV0EwMDAxLmpwZ3xpbWFnZS9qcGVn

    k) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/172111955/smoky-citrine-natural-terminated-crystal?ref=favs_view_2

    l) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/150648958/natural-citrine-quartz-rough-raw-large?ref=favs_view_6

    m) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170615079/raw-citrine-crystal-specimen-35-carats?ref=favs_view_7

    n) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/169063880/raw-citrine-crystal-specimen-65-carats?ref=favs_view_8

    o) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170985582/raw-citrine-crystal-specimen-twin-40?ref=favs_view_9

    p) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170469532/raw-citrine-crystal-specimen-50-carats?ref=favs_view_10

    q) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/167074276/citrine-crystal-raw-cluster-orange?ref=favs_view_11

    r) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/122219165/citrine-cluster-gemstone-crystal-110mm-x?ref=favs_view_13

    s) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170868123/citrine-crystal-cluster?ref=favs_view_15

    t) https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/170440266/citrine-crystal-cluster-143?ref=favs_view_16

    http://www.crystalage.com/online_store/citrine-healing-crystal.cfm



    Few questions/concerns :

    -On the Etsy website, no matter what item you are looking at, it always says ‘only one available in stock’. I find that very strange and suspicious …

    -Does it matter how big the stone is? The bigger, the better healing powers?

    - How to do activate or energise these crystals? How do you cleanse them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Pooja. Thank you so much for you message. I will do my best to answer all of your questions. This is going to be long, so I will answer the questions first in two posts, then address all of your specimen links in a third posting. First I am going to address your questions about etsy. Etsy is a site that features individual sellers who each have their own shop. The items are either handmade, vintage or supplies. Many items available on etsy are one-of-a-kind, so there is only one in existence. If your listing says, “only one available” that means you are looking at the exact crystal (or item) that you would be purchasing. Once that is sold, it is gone forever because there is not another exactly like that in the whole world. I do not send an item that is similar to the crystal or pendant in the photo. I send THAT EXACT ITEM. When it is sold, I have to take photographs of a different crystal, take measurements and weight and create a new listing for the new item, which is also one-of-a-kind.

      Some venders on etsy take a photo of an item or a group of items, and list (for example) “10 available” so you can purchase up to 10 similar items. You won’t get exactly what you see in the photos. You will get something similar. But many vendors do not do that. Since crystals are very personal and each one is unique, I think that there is more benefit to being able to pick your exact crystal, even if it is more work for me to sell them that way. I hope that answered your question.

      And to ease your mind, buyer feedback is extremely important for each etsy seller. Each seller aims for 100% positive feedback. This creates a lot of seller accountability, making it very important to us for our customers to be extremely happy with their purchases. That is part of what makes etsy a very safe place to shop. I have only had one bad experience with something that I purchased on etsy, however I filed a claim and etsy facilitated a refund for me, then they deleted that seller’s account because the vendor did not cooperate with resolving the matter. I hope that makes you more comfortable with supporting these small businesses. If you ever feel doubt about a vendor, simply look at their feedback ratings. You should expect that it is 100% positive. Also, take a moment to read what other buyers have written about the seller. (When you are looking at an item, you can see a tab with yellow stars on it underneath the item photos. Click on that to read the customer review for that person.)

      Delete
    2. About size: Size does not matter for healing yourself. If you want the crystal energy to fill up an entire room, office or building, affecting a lot of people, you will need a larger stone (three pounds or more.) OR you can boost a crystal’s energy by placing it on a selenite spear. Not only does that make the energy stronger after you remove it, while it is on there it can project the energy out to fill up a room or even a building (depending on the size of the selenite.) For personal use on your body, you do not need a large stone. Some of the strongest crystals I have felt have been smaller about 1 inch. (Though I would say a 3 mm crystal is too small to do your whole body.) The size doesn’t affect strength of energy; it affects how far out the energy reaches.

      Crystals do not need to be “activated” per se. They do need to be cleansed and charged though. They can get dirty and tired. I like to use selenite for cleansing and charging everything because it cannot harm any stone. Other methods like sunlight, water, smoke, can harm some items. For example, sunlight will bleach citrine, amethyst, rose quartz, smoky quartz, fluorite and can change the color of many other minerals. There are many minerals that are water soluable (selenite, reibekite, Chalcanthite…) Smoke will tarnish metal in any jewelry, so I don’t recommend smudging with incense for gemstone jewelry. I cleanse and charge selenite and clear quartz in direct sunlight. Everything else I either place on a selenite spear, or I point a selenite spear at a raw, clear quartz crystal (with its original termination) which is pointing toward the rock or mineral I want to cleanse or charge. (All crystals are in one line, like an arrow.) The latter method is the quickest because the quartz amplifies the selenite, which is pure light energy. It takes about three minutes with this method to cleanse a stone. After that it begins to charge. Charge it for at least three minutes, but you can go as long as you like. I have revived an old, tired and bleached out amethyst by putting it in a dark wooden box of selenite for 1 month. Some of the purple color even came back.

      Programming is another subject entirely. I’m not sure if that is what you meant when you said “activating.” Programming is only necessary if you want to assign a specific purpose to a crystal. This is done with your intention. You can focus on what you want it to do and then say it out loud while tapping a face of the crystal. Repeat this for all faces of the crystal (on the body and on the termination) except for one face. (I like to leave one face unprogrammed to allow there to be a bit of openness for serendipity.) Do not change your crystal’s programming frequently. This will “tire” it out, requiring a break period that is best spent in a dark box of selenite, or buried in the ground.

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    3. Now let me address your questions about the specimens you are interested in. I was unable to view items A, B and J because they are items located inside your email account and not web addresses that I can view without logging in to your personal account. If you would like to email them to me, please feel free to attach them to a conversation to me in my etsy shop. My address is http://www.etsy.com/shop/doodlepunkart

      As for your other links, here are my conclusions:

      Amethyst –

      c. Yes. It is real.
      d. Yes. Real
      e. Real
      f. Yes. All are real.

      All of the amethysts you posted are examples of the most common form of amethyst – the geode cluster. The purple crystals are the amethyst and the rock is the matrix that it grew on. Most single crystal amethysts have been broken off from this matrix.

      Rose Quartz –

      g. Yes. Real. I can see fractures with iron staining them yellow.
      h. Real. Lots of flecks and fractures.
      i. I can’t tell. The photo quality is poor. There isn’t enough clarity. I cannot see any inclusions/flaws.

      Natural crystals have flaws. Most have flaws that are visible to the naked eye. Even facet grade crystals have flaws. They cut the faceted gemstones from sections of stone where the flaws are not easily visible to the naked eye. These are few and far between. Anything that is the size of any of these spheres will have flaws. If you see crystal balls that are perfectly clear or one solid color with no glittery flecks, fractures, variation in color or clarity, it is probably glass. The first two links (g and h) have plenty of flecks and fractures. The third one (i) is just solid, one color with absolutely no visible texture. This looks to be a standard (and highly retouched) photo and not a photo of the item you will get. Because I cannot see the item they will send AND the photo looks so fake, I would never buy it.

      Citrine:


      k. Yes. It is real.
      l. Yes. Real. I believe I have a link to this person’s citrine at the bottom of my article.
      m. Yes. It is my item from my shop. All of my citrine is real, unheated, untreated citrine.
      n. Yes. It is my item.
      o. Yes. My item.
      p. Yes. My item
      q. No. This is heat-treated amethyst, NOT natural citrine. Notice how it looks just like the amethyst geodes you posted? They just took one of those and heated it to about 800degrees farenheit and presto. Instant, “citrine.”
      r. No. This is heated amethyst too. Notice as well how it is much darker at the tips? This is another common trait of amethyst grown on a geode.
      s. No. Same thing. You can really see how white the amethyst gets as it gets closer to the matrix rock.
      t. No. Fake Fake Fake. You will never see real citrine that burnt brown color.
      The last one didn’t have a letter. It is probably real, though it’s hard to be 100% sure because it is photographed on black so I can’t see the color well. The shape is not like amethyst at all. This laser shape is found in genuine citrines. My only problem is the black background because it does not make it possible for me to be 100% sure that it is not iron-stained quartz. BUT I would say I’m at least 100% sure it is not heated amethyst. And the second photo (the one with the packaging) looks real. Just so you know, this is an example of a vender who sells you an item that looks like the photo, not the actual crystal in the photo.

      Good luck and let me know if I can do anything more to help you. ~Namaste.

      Delete
  11. Hi miss jennifer! I'm a little confused. My mom bought me a bracelet from a feng shuu expert i guess and she said it's made of citrine. Could you help me if this is a real one?

    https://plus.google.com/app/basic/117157822326590280401/posts?cbp=13qdjhbtc5wvb&sview=25&cid=5&soc-app=115&soc-platform=1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I'm sorry. I missed your message. I wish I could give you a definitive answer. It is really tricky to tell with things that are not raw and don't exhibit the telltale signs of heated amethyst. If it had a slight subtle greenish hue, then I'd say definitely it's real, because I don't see any obvious signs of amethyst or heating. The color is similar to some heated amethyst and also to real citrine from the Congo (tinted sort of amber.) There is not crackling or banding common among lower grade heated amethyst, so in any case, it is high grade whatever it is and it is quite pretty. My suggestion is to use it. If you feel it is giving you the energy you want, then great. Keep it out of the direct sunlight, like you would amethyst, and cleanse it regularly. I like selenite for cleansing my light sensitive stones. (Citrine is light sensitive too, just not as bad.) If you feel like the energy dampens or darkens quickly, then I would lean towards amethyst, because citrine rarely needs to be cleansed, and while it is stronger when charged regularly, it doesn't need it as often as amethyst. I hope I was able to help you.

      Delete
  12. Hello my name is Andrea.

    I've read your post on Citrine and love it! I am searching for Genuine Citrine and was wondering if you could tell me if these are genuine:


    https://www.naturesforyou.com/shoppingcart/products/Citrine%2C-natural-%252d-tumbled-%252d-medium.html#.UtTGW_Uo4uo

    Thank u so much for your help!

    - Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Andrea. I am glad I can help. I am sorry. This is heat treated amethyst. You can tell by these traits:

      Color - yellow is a bright orangish yellow like yellow food coloring. Citrine is never that color, even when it does have a touch of orange tinge.

      Opacity - The opaque white is just like amethyst. I've never seen an opaque white even remotely like this in real citrine. There can be some opacity, but usually it is less opaque, it is created by a white mineral or a faden line, not milky quartz and it will still have the same hue as the rest of the stone. This white is lacking hue. This is a very common look in heated amethyst.

      Texture - crackling is indication of heating. The cooling process was probably a bit fast so the cracking is very extreme in the top photo. Think of crackle agate and fairy crackle quartz and how it has the exact same texture. This is created by heating and then rapid cooling.

      What I have stated is based on the photo at the top that you can click to enlarge. There is a photo at the bottom too that is such a weird color and poor quality that I cannot be sure what I'm looking at, but it almost looks like different material and there is not the same crackle texture or opacity that is present in the top photo. However, there is a little banding, like banded amethyst in a couple of the stones, and the photo has a look that seems to be highly corrected by someone with very poor photoshop skills, using the "Adjust Hue/Saturation" setting. They simply moved the slider bar to the right. Based on the photo of the fake stuff at the top and the weird, altered photo at the bottom, I would not buy it.

      If you want real citrine, I've attached a number of links to other shops that sell it, and I sell it in my own shop. If you are looking for something in a particular price range, just convo me. I've got a very broad selection of different grades including some rough stuff that just came in, though most of my stuff is whole, raw crystals. However, I do have spheres in my studio as well. http://www.etsy.com/shop/doodlepunkart

      Delete
    2. Wow. Thank u so much! I'll be purchasing from your store shortly! Thanks for the info. I definitely can see the difference.

      - Andrea

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  13. I'm also want to buy real stones (sorry for my english) and I know ametrine is also a veriety of amethyst. I found this website selling expensive ametrine bracelet, can you tell if it is real? http://www.gyogyitokovek.eu/ametrin-karkoto-ametiszt-citrin
    They say its natural and some beads are even half yellow, half purple. Is it a proof?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarolta, I'm sorry I do not know if this is real. Unfortunately it is really hard to tell if a crystal is real when it has been cut into stones; and these photos are very low resolution, so I can't zoom in to even look for the signs that a stone has been heated. They are pretty. Energetically, though, I doubt there is much difference between ametrine, amethyst and heat-treated amethyst, since ametrine is a type of amethyst, not a citrine. The yellow color in ametrine is made by a higher concentration of iron, not by aluminum and lithium, like in true citrine, so it is not going to have the same properties as true citrine.

      I think the beads are really very pretty. I can not advise you whether to buy them or not. I suppose you could check their online reviews and also their return policy, so that if you do buy them and when they come you don't like them, you will be able to return them. I know that some online companies can be very difficult to get refunds from, so check the reviews to see if anyone had problems with that company.

      If you want to know more about ametrine, check out this page: http://www.quartzpage.de/ametrine.html

      Good luck,
      x0jen

      Delete
  14. Hi!

    Your site is really great!

    I have a question. I have a Tibetan Citrine sphere that looks almost identical to your photo of your collection of citrine, its the photo called:

    'Geniue Pale, Smokey...'

    I know citrine comes mostly from Brazil but is Tibetan Citrine real? It looks a pale yellow.

    Do you know of any good sellers who sell Natural Citrine Spheres? I tried your links on etsy but no luck.

    The best I could find was a site called Mineral Miners but all the good pieces are sold out.

    You mention you sell them? Would you be willing to email me? Looking for a natural citrine sphere 40 mm roughly.

    Henrytarot@gmail.com

    Thank you for your time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Henry. Thank you for your message. You’ve got some good questions and bring up something that I should actually explain in this article, which I will do when I rewrite it. Most real citrine doesn't actually come from Brazil. Most heated-amethyst comes from Brazil. Brazil has an abundant supply of many varieties of quartz, and does have some genuine citrine, but (from what I’ve read and seen) not significantly more than China, Madagascar, Russia and Congo. However, Brazil and bordering Uruguay are the world’s largest suppliers of Amethyst, which is why people say that Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. They do not know that most of the Brazilian "citrine" on the market is actually is actually heated-amethyst. SO, my point is, just because a citrine doesn’t come from Brazil is not a reason to think it isn’t real.

    So now the question remains, is your Tibetan citrine sphere real? It could be. It’s hard to say though, especially without seeing it in person. When you can see the natural crystal shape, it is fairly easy for me to tell for the most part. When it is cut, polished, formed into shapes, we have to rely on coloration, and even then there is a middle of the road where it’s pretty tricky. If is was smoky, then you could assume that it hasn’t been heated, because smoky goes away at much lower temp that amethyst requires to turn yellow. But you say the color is pale. Pale could be quite good. Usually heated amethyst is brighter or orange, amber or brown, though it can be a little honey like some real citrine. There is another way to tell, but it’s quite difficult. True citrine is slightly dichroic. For citrine, the color intensity varies slightly depending on the direction polarized light shines through it in relation to your eyes (or when looking at it through a polarized lens. It is very, very subtle though and you have to get it at just the right angle to see this. I have noticed my more strongly colored citrine spheres and the smoky citrines there is one direction where it looks a lot more saturated, but I can’t really see that on the lighter ones. Heated amethyst will not do this. Most laptop monitors have polarized light, so you can go to a white page and pump up your brightness to the top, then look at your sphere in front of the white screen. Turn it in every direction. See if you can see any slight variation in color intensity. Don’t expect it to be obvious. It is subtle. If you can find that, then your citrine is the real deal. Hope that helps.

    Also, I do have a few citrines from Tibet, so this is not a location void of citrine. Mine are pretty smoky though. If you are looking for more, my supplier had a one time only stock and I purchased the entire lot from him, so I do have some of those left. That is them in the photo. I'm not really wanting to sell them all off though, because they were purchased for making pendants and I don't know if I'll ever find them again. BUT I would sell you one if the size is right...I can also take a look at my other vendors for you, if mine isn't big enough. I think 22mm is the largest I've got and I'm almost out of those. Just convo me on etsy.

    :)
    x0jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, I will send you a msg on etsy.

      I will also send you a photo if I can. At first I thought my Tibetian Citrine was real but doing some research it also might be Honey Calcite.

      I know a lot of people say heated amethyst is used as 'fake' citrine but also Honey Calcite I've seen passed off as citrine.

      My Tibetian Citrine sphere 30mm cost me $30.00 off ebay

      It looks almost like this:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/54-mm-AAA-Rainbow-Honey-Calcite-Sphere-Clear-Crystal-Ball-/141213342961?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20e0f89cf1

      and this:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/RAINBOW-NATURAL-PRETTY-CITRINE-QUARTZ-crystal-SPHERE-BALL-120g-G3-/301117057808?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item461bf9ab10

      Anyway, will msg you on etsy.

      Thanks for your quick reply. :)

      Delete
  16. Hi Jennifer,

    I'm confused about something you wrote. You said at one point:

    “Citrine's yellow color is created by aluminum and lithium trapped inside the crystal structure that have been exposed to naturally occurring radiation. It is created in almost identical circumstances as smoky quartz with the same elements present.”

    and later you said:

    "• Natural Iron Citrine - Yellow crystals colored by (irradiated) iron built into the crystal lattice which were exposed to heat from a natural source at some point during its formation. These would have been amethysts if they had not been exposed to natural heat. This is a very rare occurrence. Healing properties are similar to amethyst or heat-treated amethyst.
    • Aluminum Citrine, or simply Citrine. Contains no iron and doesn't require heating for its yellow color. Healing properties are very different from those of amethyst. It is a true manifestation stone which activates the solar plexus chakra. This is a very rare stone."

    My question is: when you say that citrine is not far from being a smoky quarts, are you referring to "Natural Iron Citrine" or "Aluminum Citrine"?

    Thanks for the clarification.
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Michelle. Thank you for asking. Let me see if I can make this simpler. "Iron citrine" is always heated-amethyst. 99.99999% of the time iron citrine is artificially heated, not actually natural It is my personal opinion that when heated by man, this is not citrine. When it is heated by nature at some point in its growth, then I will call it "iron citrine" but this is extremely rare. It's properties are similar to amethyst and heated-amethyst, not citrine (Al:Li).

    "Aluminum citrine" is the naturally yellow stuff that hasn't been heated. It is the citrine that most metaphysical properties are written about. It is a true manifestations stone. This is the citrine I sell in my shop and am teaching you how to identify. It is sometimes sold as lemon quartz.

    Smoky quartz is also colored by aluminum and lithium too. Citrine (Al:Li) and smoky quartz are chemically very similar, and are often found together.

    I hope this clarifies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to clarify something. I have read that on some occasions smoky quartz will turn more yellow with careful heating. I do not believe this is possible unless it is a smoky citrine to begin with though. In my experience, I have only had two citrines change color from the heat of the molten metal when making my pendants, and they just became very pale. (It is necessary for them to heat at least a little for the metal to flow.) I've made multitudes of pendants and never has smoky quartz EVER turned into citrine. In fact, I don't usually even notice a color change at all, except an occasional lightening if I let the stone get too hot. Usually things explode before they change color, so heating is definitely an art and it causes fracturing which can be seen by the naked eye.

      Also, (on a side note) I have read that if the proper minerals are present (the proper ratio of Al:Li) a clear quartz can become citrine when irradiated. Most cases though, clear quartz will only become smoky quartz with irradiation and the color is usually very dark.

      I'm only telling you this because there are some exceptions to the rules. If heating lightens up the smoky in a smoky citrine, it is still chemically citrine and NOT heated-amethyst so it's properties will be citrine.

      One thing I'd like to do is compare irradiated smoky with natural smoky to see if I can feel a difference. I have heard of one woman who can tell the difference...but I digress.

      Delete
  18. Thanks, Jennifer, that helped!
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, how ignorant I was. I thought the most beautiful citrine would be more yellowish, and I didnt know the orange golden yellow was usually heated amethyst.

    So I had bought this pendant from some german seller and is silver with a small amethyst and a bigger citrine that is kinda pale just a little lemonish yellow and I was so disappointed and wondering if was a real citrine (since every site almost show the heated orange amethyst as "citrine") and I was bugged. You showed me that the totally opposite is true and highly likely this is actually citrine... How bad is being ignorant and influenced by media!

    Thank you so much :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. There are a lot of people that consider "citrine" as a color, not as a naturally yellow variety of quartz. And there is a lot of confusion about what makes the color (iron, vs aluminum and lithium.) So much misinformation is re-posted over and over again, and nobody seems to take the time to do the research and study scholarly documents in order to know the truth before they write about it. :( As for your crystal, it is hard to say. I'm wondering, is it already faceted, or is it a raw stone? Also, by lemon yellow, do you mean it has a slightly greenish tint, like a lemon that is almost ripe? Or do you mean the color of a very ripe lemon (goldenrod - which has just a tiny hint of orange)? Any slightly greenish hue and it is probably natural citrine. Any orangish hue and it is probably amethyst.

      Delete
  20. Hi there, i'm a newbie to crystals and recently collected 2 citrine points.
    from the pics (link), are they untreated pieces?

    http://tinypic.com/m/idx7cj/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Because they are already cut, I cannot tell by the shape, but based on the color that came through in the photos, I would say there is a very high probability that these are genuine and unheated citrine. They look kinda greenish and very smoky, so I would say they are smoky citrines. :) I think you made a good choice.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jennifer.
      Got them cos of the color too.
      Hope they are not irradiated types if treated..

      Regards,
      Hann

      Delete
  21. I know of the seller that you are talking about in your addendum, Athena. And, I get the same feeling about the things she sells. There have been many times on Facebook that she has mix labeled items. It sets my teeth on edge that she labels herself as she does, and the prices she asks! The most recent I've seen are 'carnelian' hearts she selling that are a form of banded agates. Frustrating.

    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my. Did actually use her name??? Goodness, gracious! :\ I should not have done that.

      I just looked at her hearts. You are correct. Agate. NOT Carnelian. :(

      Accidents do happen. Sometimes we make mistakes. There is a lot of info to know and it's quite common for our suppliers to give us inaccurate information. This is why I always educate myself about each new stone before I list it.

      Here's the problem I have with this seller. When informed of her error, instead of investigating or asking questions, she basically covered her ears and sang, "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!" If someone said my item was mislabeled, I would be asking them questions, investigating, engaging them to see why they are saying that to BE ABSOLUTELY SURE that I have not been leading my customers astray. And what is even more troubling is that she TEACHES CLASSES! :( Icky. I have a problem with that.

      Delete
  22. Hi Jennifer, I was just wondering if you (or anybody else) could please take a quick look at these two citrines. After familiarizing myself with many fake and real citrines, I think these two check all the right boxes. I just need some confirmation from a second person .This would mean a lot to me as my heart has been set on finding real citrine and never have I felt so stupid and disappointed purchasing a deep fried amethyst. I cant even look at it.

    Many thanks for informing so many people to this cold hard truth. Thankyou. I wish I saw this blog a week ago.

    http://tinypic.com/m/iml11f/4
    http://tinypic.com/m/iml11g/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. Thanks for reading. I checked them out and they are real, Al:Li citrine, not heated amethyst. :) Cheers!
      x0jen

      Delete
  23. I'm not sure if my last comment was published - my log in keeps sending me back to a blank page to preview. My apologies if this is duplicated. :)

    Hello,

    I love your blogspot about citrine. Very informative!

    What do you think of the smoky citrine that has been irradiated, giving it a smoky, light-yellow with a greenish tint? This description also fits of genuine citrine, yet apparently it can also be irradiated smoky quartz.

    How can we tell the difference?

    Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  24. After reading this I am fairly certain that the little piece of "citrine" I bought at a local metaphysical shop is, indeed, heat-treated amethyst. It's very orange, has a white tip, and while it isn't "dog-tooth" shape (it's narrower than that) the sides are very irregular. I'd been thinking about buying a new piece of (actual!) citrine anyway, and I'd rather get a tumbled piece. There's a site that I've bought a few stones from before that sells both "natural" and "treated" (their words) citrine, here are the links to each:

    Natural: http://www.exquisitecrystals.com/citrine-natural-tumbled-stones-72-tps

    Treated (they do specify it as such): http://www.exquisitecrystals.com/citrine-treated-tumbled-stones-6-cra

    I can tell from the pic that the treated citrine is, in fact, heated (tumbled) amethyst, but what about the "natural" citrine, is that genuine, if you can tell?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. (dangit Blogspot doesn't give an option to edit comments, so I had to delete and post again w/edit)

      I should add that nearly all the reviews I've read of that site have been very positive.

      Delete
  25. Thank you so much for making such an in-depth post about natural vs fake citrine. I've been searching high and low for some natural citrine beads to make bracelets with but I am so confused about which are really genuine unheated citrines and which are HTA.

    1)https://www.etsy.com/listing/236897526/free-shipping-genuine-round-citrine?ref=shop_home_active_2&ga_search_query=citrine

    2)http://www.jewelrytopia.com/?goods=detail&id=17185

    If those are not natural citrine beads, do you know any reliable sources of natural citrine beads or do you have any examples of natural citrine beads?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi... im from indonesia
    I want sale amethyst and citrine natural

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is a very helpful post. Prior to this I knew nothing about the two stones, not to talk of the differences.. thanks for sharing.



    www.lilyofnigeria.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good to know about the crystal. The information and the facts about it is also good to read. Thanks for sharing.

    Geode Diamond Jewelry

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Jennifer,
    I was wondering if you could take a look at this citrine (link below) listed at Ebay from China.
    could you tell me if this is a real citrine?

    Thank you very much :)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/456g-Citrine-Quartz-Crystal-Cluster-Smoke-China-JSU54/231897409118?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D35955%26meid%3D0be129feb675464288ae77f4b243a3ba%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D222072647618

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the great info. I'm looking for a natural untreated citrine ring and found this on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/209040681/natural-105-carat-citrine-diamond-ring?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=untreated%20citrine%20ring&ref=sr_gallery_8

    What is your opinion? If color is very light can I assume it is real? If not, can you recommend a seller that has rings? Most of your recommendations seem to be for raw crystals and pendants. Thanks so much for any help you can provide.

    Aloha,
    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  31. Are all the Amethyst Spheres,that are for sell at www.alibaba.com/FAKE?:

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/100mm-natural-amethyst-ball-crystal-stone_60583005929.html

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for sharing. If you can more read now visit Tibetan Jewellery in Ladakh

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello,

    Very Good Article! :)

    I have a link here below to a Citrine Point that I was wondering if you could tell me if you think it is natural and untreated/unheated citrine? ....

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/267489651/golden-citrine-channeler-point-w-rainbow

    ReplyDelete
  34. this article is so wonderful and helpful to me thanks for share.
    Heating and Cooling Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello,

    After reading your article I noticed the color and shape on my crystal and I have a strong feeling it is Heated Amethyst and not Citrine.

    My question is : Do I treat the stone as it has Amethyst benefits or Citrine benefits?

    ReplyDelete
  36. even though it is Heated Amethyst, does it work as an Amethyst crystal and does it have the same Amethyst benefits?

    ReplyDelete